Objective: We examined whether pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) excites proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons via PAC1 receptor mediation and transient receptor potential cation (TRPC) channel activation. Methods: Electrophysiological recordings were done in slices from both intact male and ovariectomized (OVX) female PACAP-Cre mice and eGFP-POMC mice. Results: In recordings from POMC neurons in eGFP-POMC mice, PACAP induced a robust inward current and increase in conductance in voltage clamp, and a depolarization and increase in firing in current clamp. These postsynaptic actions were abolished by inhibitors of the PAC1 receptor, TRPC channels, phospholipase C, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, and protein kinase C. Estradiol augmented the PACAP-induced inward current, depolarization, and increased firing, which was abrogated by estrogen receptor (ER) antagonists. In optogenetic recordings from POMC neurons in PACAP-Cre mice, high-frequency photostimulation induced inward currents, depolarizations, and increased firing that were significantly enhanced by G<sub>q</sub>-coupled membrane ER signaling in an ER antagonist-sensitive manner. Importantly, the PACAP-induced excitation of POMC neurons was notably reduced in obese, high-fat (HFD)-fed males. In vivo experiments revealed that intra-arcuate nucleus (ARC) PACAP as well as chemogenetic and optogenetic stimulation of ventromedial nucleus (VMN) PACAP neurons produced a significant decrease in energy intake accompanied by an increase in energy expenditure, effects blunted by HFD in males and partially potentiated by estradiol in OVX females. Conclusions: These findings reveal that the PACAP-induced activation of PAC1 receptor and TRPC5 channels at VMN PACAP/ARC POMC synapses is potentiated by estradiol and attenuated under conditions of diet-induced obesity/insulin resistance. As such, they advance our understanding of how PACAP regulates the homeostatic energy balance circuitry under normal and pathophysiological circumstances.